Trucker Who Lost Both Legs Settles Injury Lawsuit For $10.6 MILLION
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania – A trucker who suffered catastrophic injuries to both of his legs while delivering a load of eight, 5,000 pound steel pipes will receive $10.6 million in a settlement with the company he claims is responsible.
Last week, 59-year-old Robert Ryder, of Mercer, PA, agreed to settle his lawsuit against Dura-Bond Coating Inc. stemming from a 2013 accident at its Duquesne location.
According to the facts of the case, Ryder, who worked for Yourga Trucking Inc., picked up a load of 8, 42-foot-long steel pipes in Camden, NJ, on December 23, 2013.
The pipes were loaded in two rows of four, with wooden separators between the rows and then strapped down, according to the complaint.
Ryder then hauled the load to Dura-Bond’s Duquesne location for delivery.
Upon arriving the next day (December 24), the lawsuit alleges the load was not inspected by Dura-Bond employees which is a violation of Dura-Bond company policy.
Instead, Ryder contends a Dura-Bond employee nailed chocks to the edges of wood separator boards between the pipes.
While the pipes were being unloaded with a Pettibone Cary-Lift, one dislodged, fell from the flatbed trailer and knocked Ryder to the ground.
His legs were crushed after becoming pinned under the pipe, according to the suit.
Ryder suffered a traumatic partial amputation of one leg and surgical amputation of his other leg.
Ryder’s lawsuit allged Dura-Bond and its employees failed to follow proper safety protocols while unloading the pipes.
For instance, Ryder claimed a spotter was not used and the load should have been properly inspected and secured before unloading.
Additionally, the complaint alleged that Dura-Bond employees should have ensured that Ryder was in a safe location prior to unloading.
Dura-Bond’s attorneys countered Ryder’s arguments by contending it was Ryder who did not follow the proper safety procedures and should have not been near the load as it was being unloaded.
Further, Dura-Bond’s legal counsel argued Ryder should have paid better attention to his surroundings.
According to Ryder’s attorney, Dominic Guerrini, the 8-figure settlement was reached in the middle of depositions because it was “apparent Dura-Bond had made all these mistakes.”
Ryder has been unable to work since the accident.
Guerrini says the settlement takes into account both past and future lost earnings, as well as the severity of Ryder’s injuries.
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(Images courtesy of Dura-Bond and Yourga Trucking)